This Week In The Business: Microsoft Bets On Xbox Game Pass

Image credit: Mack Male, via Flickr
Image credit: Mack Male, via Flickr

QUOTE | “This plan to bring new games timed with their global release into Xbox Game Pass not only includes announced titles like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Crackdown 3 but future unannounced games from Microsoft Studios including new iterations of our biggest Xbox One exclusive franchises such as Halo, Forza and Gears of War, on the same day they launch.” - Phil Spencer announces Microsoft’s bold move to include brand new first-party titles in its monthly subscription program.


STAT | 182 - The number of Toys R Us stores in the US shutting down in the coming months as the company goes through its bankruptcy proceedings. The closing stores represent 21% of Toys R Us locations in the US.

QUOTE | “Back then the star system was still intact, so what mattered more to the greenlight committee than making a good film or faithful adaptation was who was in it. So it was like, Channing Tatum has to be the Belmont, or whatever. It would have been creatively bankrupt.” - Adi Shankar, producer of the Netflix Castlevania animated series, explains why he turned down the original pitch to make it a live-action film.

STAT | $1,500 - The going rate for a Radeon RX Vega 64, three times the $499 suggested retail price. The cost of high-end graphics cards has skyrocketed as people have sought them to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

QUOTE | “We are giving back the true ownership of the assets to players.” - B2Expand COO Manon Burgel explains why the company is using its Nexium cryptocurrency in the game Beyond the Void, which lets players sell and trade any in-game items they purchase, as well as (potentially) use them in other developers’ games.

QUOTE | “We see PUBG as an endlessly evolving online product. It’s not like we have a clear roadmap with 2.0 and 3.0. The current version, I want to say it’s flawless, but it still needs to be polished and enhanced.” - PUBG Corporation CEO Chang Han Kim talks about the plan for PUBG in 2018 and beyond.

QUOTE | “I didn’t say what I said on stream with malicious intent, I legit did not compute the whole thing before.” - Overwatch League player Felix “xQc” Lengyel apologizes to a competitor on Twitter after a homophobic remark he made during a livestream. Lengyel was fined $2,000 and suspended for four games.


QUOTE | “The Madden NFL Ultimate League is purposely designed to make superstars of our best players, allowing viewers to develop player loyalties and follow competitor rivalries.” - Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of the Competitive Gaming Division at EA, says the upcoming Madden esports competition airing on ESPN and Disney XD will focus on the players.

QUOTE | “If [parents] realised how predatory these games are then they wouldn’t want them under their Christmas tree, they wouldn’t want them going to their kids.” - Washington state senator Kevin Ranker on why he introduced a bill to get the games industry and the government to find the best way to curb overly aggressive loot box mechanics.


STAT | Two years - The lifespan of Miitomo, Nintendo’s first foray into mobile gaming. The company announced this week it will take Miitomo offline this May.

QUOTE | “It doesn’t matter if you have talent or motivation, because a lot of people have that. The most important thing is creating an environment where you can apply those skills” - Aran Koning of the four-person indie collective Sokpop, which recently launched a Patreon to fund its development efforts. As of this writing, the Patreon campaign is bringing in $487 a month.



Big, big gamble from Microsoft here. If they actually do whatthey’re supposed to do and make games for the damned thing? This is industry shaping and could add a second thing Microsoft has contributed to the industry in 20 years. My bet? They effectively send Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3 out to die and shareholders finally demand they kill the Xbox. It’s a real shame that the one company with no actual weight behind it is doing all these pro consumer things...